Chilliwack/Vancouver – In response to the media statement from the Chilliwack School Board on Friday, calling for the resignation of Trustee Barry Neufeld from their board, British Columbia School Trustees Association President Gordon Swan shared the following statement:
“As trustees, we take an oath ‘not allow any private interest to influence my conduct in public matters’ and it is imperative that a public school trustee represent and protect the safety of all students. When one allows personal beliefs to infringe on their ability to do so, and when those beliefs conflict with the policies of the board that they represent along with the laws that govern the province, there are consequences. In this case, it has resulted in a loss of confidence from the Chilliwack Board of Education and the Minister of Education in the trustee’s ability to adequately fulfill the duties of office that he was elected to perform. The BCSTA supports the Chilliwack board’s decision as it has become apparent that this has proven to be a distraction for the board in running the school district and focusing on student achievement for all students in the district.”
In a past media release, BCSTA made public that it did not support the position taken by Neufeld and highlighted the importance of defending students and staff against incidents of prejudice, bullying or discrimination. BCSTA strongly supports the idea that schools need to be safe and welcoming places for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or background.